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Chinese universities study SDSU’s Student Affairs Program

Xiamen University

Two Chinese Universities traveled to San Diego to learn more about San Diego State.

Officials from China’s Xiamen University—San Diego State University‘s partner university and Chongqing University traveled to SDSU to learn about the Division of Student Affairs Program.

”The Division of Student Affairs plays a vital role in the personal growth, wellness, intellectual development, academic achievement and career success of each individual student,” according to the Division of Student Affairs website.

During their visit, many SDSU officials gave presentations, including  Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs Sandra Cook and Director of the Compact Scholars Program Janet Abbott.

The visit was coordinated by Acting Vice President for Student Affairs Eric Rivera; in conjunction with Dr. James Tarbox, Director of Career Services; Lee Mintz, Director for the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities and Christy Samarkos, Director of Residential Education.

“Vice President Rivera very much wanted to highlight the collaborative nature of our work (at Student Affairs),” Mintz wrote in an email. “He also wanted to highlight student success at SDSU and the work that we do with underrepresented students.”

The Chinese university officials commended the program, noting that students are the focus.

“They seemed very impressed with the proactive nature of our work and were surprised to learn that we often reach out to students first when we are concerned,” Mintz said.

Mintz said the universities will try to replicate student success at their universities and the collaboration between departments, staff and other programs.

Tarox said the initial idea of a visit came about when SDSU President Elliot Hirshman visited Xiamen University earlier this year.

Hirshman formally welcomed the two universities for a month-long stay on July 15. Members of the program were housed in the Cuicacalli Suites, Cherry Ruan from Xiamen University and International Cooperation of Exchange Office said.

The Confucius Institute helped provide interpretation for the 56 visiting professionals. Vicky Hsu was the primary interpreter during the visit because for many of the visiting professionals English was not their first language.

Hsu said Lilly Cheng, the managing director of the Confucius Institute, also provided interpretation during the opening ceremony when they welcomed the university officials. The interpretation required much preparation such as reading the outlines for the presentations and researching certain websites to get ready for the panel discussions during the one-month program.

“During the interpretation, I need to be very concentrated and focused on every word and every sentence,” Hsu wrote in an email. “Sometimes, because of the cultural difference, I need to elaborate and explain more for a better mutual understanding.”

The Confucius Institute focuses on strengthening educational cooperation between the U.S. and China.

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